Thursday, September 7, 2006

Not Sure What the Word Is...

Many of you who read this post are aware that I have been pregnant twice, the first time with a daughter. At 20 weeks along in November of 2003 we looked forward to our Monday ultrasound appointment that would tell us whether we were expecting a girl or a boy.

The Wednesday before that appointment I received a call deep in the night that the infant grandson of members of the congregation was rushed to the hospital. His father who grew up in the church was away on business and the mother after placing her son in his bassinet did what all new mothers are encouraged to do... she laid down to get some rest. When she got up not twenty minutes later her baby boy was blue.

CPR. 911. It was all for naught.

He was 13 days old.

Calls were made and services were arranged. It was decided that he would be buried in the the church's cemetary and the service would be on Monday, the same day as our ultrasound appointment.

It didn't take me long to figure out that I would have a hard time presiding over a service with such a tiny casket while being pregnant myself. I couldn't imagine reconciling those images and my heartfelt grief for this young couple with the images I assumed we would see on the screen of a healthy boy or girl of our own. So I changed the ultrasound appointment to the following week.

Hindsight tells us that if I had gone to that appointment I probably would not have been able to officiate at the service having learned that the child I carried was also deceased.

We are all grown ups. We know that in life we rarely get a true happy ending and that is the case here. We have been blessed with a beautiful son and yet there is a part of our hearts that will never recover. The ripples from the SIDS death I described above keep on going as the couple has since divorced and the grandparents no longer come to the church with one of the reasons I think being that seeing that headstone every Sunday is just too hard.

In the meantime The Boy has found a new place that he likes to play... and talk as if to someone... and leave his toys. Eery is not quite the word because it is not as sinister as that. Comforting is not quite the word because there is no true comfort in tragedy such as this.

They say a picture speaks 1000 words and I guess somewhere in there is the right one, but I am not sure what it is...


19 comments:

Songbird said...

Oh, that honey boy. What a sweet child he is. Uncanny?

Listing Straight said...

He is a VERY sweet child- and he has great parents-

Marie said...

Oh my. How beautiful and sweet. Is that okay to say?

Sue said...

(o)

towanda said...

...sighs too deep for words...

juniper68 said...

thanks for sharing this story.
it's the big circle...

cheesehead said...

Can't type. Screen too blurry.
((((will smama))))
((((sweet boy))))

Pink Shoes said...

Oh, my. I echo the other commenters.

reverendmother said...

Bittersweet, maybe.

(((will, tdh and the boy)))

see-through faith said...

child like faith - compassion

thank you for sharing this. all of this.

will smama said...

Yes, rm that is what I was thinking this morning as I thought about how many folks used the word 'sweet' in their comments.

What is the next level beyond 'bittersweet' - I think maybe that's it.

peacepastor said...

will smama,

What poignant sharing! There really aren't words to describe the depth of pain and emotion. I think women clergy, especially those who have been pregnant and/or have had children are particularly attuned to the many layers of hope, despair, and intimacy related to loss-- in a way even the most sensitive of men cannot be. It is a blessing and bane of women in ministry.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

(o)

Mary Beth said...

What a love. you are blessed. you knew that, though.

the reverend mommy said...

(o)

HeyJules said...

Joys and tragedies all rolled into one. God is amazing through it all, is He not?

{{{hugs}}}

Purechristianithink said...

It's amazing what kids sense/intuit/channel--whatever. I had a very unexpected third pregnancy which ended in a very early miscarriage--we never even got to the point of telling our kids I was pregnant. But at almost exactly the time the child would have been born, my daughter developed an extremely strong attachment to one of her dolls and began to call it her baby sister. Coincidence? Who can say . . .

ppolarbear said...

poignant indeed.

revabi said...

Painful for them and painful for you.
But your boy is so in touch right now.